Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 914
       By Senator Baxley
       12-00162D-17                                           2017914__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public meetings; amending s.
    3         286.011, F.S.; defining terms; specifying conditions
    4         under which members of any board or commission of any
    5         state agency or authority or of any agency or
    6         authority of any county, municipal corporation, or
    7         political subdivision may participate in fact-finding
    8         exercises or excursions; providing for construction;
    9         providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 286.011, Florida
   14  Statutes, is amended, present subsections (2) through (8) of
   15  that section are renumbered as subsections (3) through (9),
   16  respectively, and a new subsection (2) is added to that section,
   17  to read:
   18         286.011 Public meetings and records; public inspection;
   19  criminal and civil penalties.—
   20         (1)(a)As used in this section, the term:
   21         1. “De facto meeting” means the use of board or commission
   22  staff or third parties, acting as intermediaries, to facilitate
   23  discussion of public business between board or commission
   24  members.
   25         2. “Discussion” means a conversation between or among board
   26  or commission members regardless of whether through oral,
   27  written, electronic, or any other form of communication.
   28         3. “Meeting” means a gathering, whether formal or informal,
   29  of two or more members of the same board or commission, even if
   30  they have not yet taken office.
   31         4. “Official act” means the adoption of a resolution or
   32  rule or other formal action being taken by the board or
   33  commission.
   34         5. “Public business” means any matter before, or
   35  foreseeably expected to come before, the board or commission.
   36         (b) Except as otherwise provided in the State Constitution,
   37  all meetings or de facto meetings of any board or commission of
   38  any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of
   39  any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision at
   40  which official acts are to be taken or public business is to be
   41  transacted or discussed, are declared to be public meetings open
   42  to the public., except as otherwise provided in the
   43  Constitution, including meetings with or attended by any person
   44  elected to such board or commission, but who has not yet taken
   45  office, at which official acts are to be taken are declared to
   46  be public meetings open to the public at all times, and
   47         (c) Members of the same board or commission may participate
   48  in fact-finding exercises or excursions to research public
   49  business, and may participate in meetings with a member of the
   50  Legislature, if:
   51         1. The board or commission provides reasonable notice;
   52         2. A vote, an official act, or an agreement regarding an
   53  action at a future meeting does not occur;
   54         3. A discussion of public business, as those terms are
   55  defined in paragraph (a), does not occur; and
   56         4. Appropriate records, minutes, audio recordings, or video
   57  recordings are made and retained as a public record.
   58         (d)A no resolution, rule, or formal action is not shall be
   59  considered binding unless except as taken or made at a public
   60  such meeting. The board or commission must provide reasonable
   61  notice of all such meetings.
   62         (2) So long as no official acts are taken and any public
   63  business is not discussed, subsection (1) may not be construed
   64  to require public notice of, and access to, any gathering of two
   65  or more members of the same board or commission.
   66         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.